Another solon bats for delayed school start

Precious Hipolito-Castelo
Quezon City, 2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo.

ANOTHER lawmaker expressed support for delayed opening of classes until a vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is discovered.

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo opposed the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to reopen schools on August 24.

Castelo appealed to President Duterte, the inter-agency task force against COVID-19, the Department of Education, and Commission on Higher Education to reconsider the plan to start classes in August.

“I think that we should not hold classes in all schools until the world finds a vaccine against COVID-19 and it is available in our country. We should not expose our children to the virus,” she said.

Based on the experience of other countries battling the COVID-19 pandemic, people of all ages are vulnerable to the disease.

According to the lady lawmaker, it is better if the government will wait until a vaccine is available or until this crisis is over before sending children back to school.

“We should play it safe for the sake of our children and even our teachers and other school personnel,” she said.

Castelo pointed out that the DepEd cannot rely on distance learning or doing classes through the Internet “because our telecommunications signals are spotty even in Metro Manila.”

“It would be hard for children to learn through the virtual classroom. Even we members of the House of Representatives are having difficulty conducting virtual sessions and communicating with each other due to weak Internet and communications signals,” she added.

She said face-to-face classes cannot be held while there is a pandemic, as it would be difficult to enforce physical distancing and other health protocols especially in public schools.

“Public schools are crowded. There are 40-50 or more students in a small room, and there are two to three class shits in many areas. How could they comply with physical distancing in such a situation?” she said.

Even vocational and technical education and training should be postponed, she said.

“Education is important to all of us, but dodging the virus is important as well. Education can wait, but the virus cannot,” she said.